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Depth and originality over the derviative and the superficial

November 4, 2009

World Building in a Crazy World is a presentation by digital artist Jonathan Harris, that’s been catching fire in the past couple of days.

It’s a great reminder that it’s often smartest to take the opposite point of view and to value people’s intelligence and ability to engage in things with a deeper meaning.

Harris seems to be taking a giant knife to the current internet landscape and stabbing a hole in its heart; slamming the 140 character world of Tweeter, the superficiality of Facebook, the pervasive adherence to minimalism as a web design philosophy and the “bubble effect” of all the conversations and conferences.

His response has been to escape from Fort Greene to the woods of Oregon where he can take a fresh perspective and by away from the constant white noise that exists.

We are getting to the point where there a number of scared cows that we are starting to believe in that are fundamentally responses to people looking at trends and data in a uni-dimensional manner. It’s the optimization culture gone crazy and while the data tells the head one story, our heart and intuition tells us that there’s a got to be another way or a different path.

It’s clear that while many people demand the instant gratification and streamlined functionality available on many websites, this is not the only path, entire content and entertainment forms are going to be re-invented in the next 3-5 years and lead us into entirely new territories and experiences, a move that’s already started.

We are already questioning what defines a game, a book, a movie, a newspaper and a music experience, this is leading to the creation of entirely new industries and a new ways to converse and tell stories to audiences.

In parallel, the content delivery of advertising will take on new forms and formats that offer depth and storytelling in a myriad of new ways. Five years from now, what we know as print, television, rich-media and banner advertising will all be re-formulated and re-invented.

It’s easy to follow the minimal data-driven logical path that leads to more email, Facebook and Twitter spam and an explosion of blue links everywhere in our digital lives, but if you follow Harris, you might find a world that’s deeper, richer and more engaging and more interesting than the one that exists today.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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